Toro Personal Pace Lawn Mower Review

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Written By: Mark Marino

a Massachusetts Core Applicator License holder and owner/operator of Lawn Phix,

Updated on

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I recently purchased a used 22” Toro Personal Pace lawn mower online. After owning a similar 22” Recycler (which I sold for a lawn tractor) I knew I wanted another one. The ride on mower does a horrible job on my front yard because it’s a bit hilly, causing it to be a little dangerous when riding sideways. It also digs up the lawn when trying to ride uphill. Alas, I needed another push mower.

Toro Recycler Pros

  • Spin Stop: Something my previous mower did not have. First, you don’t need to hold onto the lever to start anything. Just the handle, grip and rip! Second, I have kids and dogs and lots of oak trees, so there’s often times that I need to move a toy, dog ball, or twigs/branches from my line of mowing. Now I can just let go of the lever, stop the blade but not the engine. Genius!
  • Mulching: As noted on the machine itself, it is a “Recycler” –thus the design of the undercarriage makes for finely-mulched grass clippings.
  • Recycle/Bag: The blue lever next to the bottom of the bag allows you to easily flip between mulching and bagging. Sometimes clippings do get clogged there, but overall, it’s a fast and simple process.
    Maintenance: Very easy to tune this up. The spark plug is front and center; the blade has a simple ¾” bolts in the middle; oil is easily accessible.

Toro Recycler Cons

  • Wheels:

    I don’t know why they didn’t make these as easily adjustable as the Timemaster… but maybe that’s because mine was made in 2010, a Toro serial number 310030781 on this model number 20333. But you have to adjust all 4 wheels individually (versus just 2 on the Timemaster). You also move the pin forward to move the front part of the deck down, and the rear wheel back… so it’s easy to end up with an uneven deck.

  • Gas: If you’re not careful, then it’s easy to get this carburetor clogged up. Of course you need to change and/or clean your air filter often – which is easy to get to with two screws – but there is no gas filter. So any sediment that ends up in your tank will end up in the carb. I snipped the fuel line and added a clear inline filter.
  • Personal Pace: Again, unlike the Timemaster, adjusting the speed of the Personal Pace is harder than it needs to be. Instead of using a plastic wing nut, you actually need a wrench to loosen the cord – which of course allows you to move the cable up/down to make it faster/slower.

Overall, I like this machine. Now that it’s pushing 10 years old, when it goes I may give a Honda a try next. But for now, I’m a very happy Toro owner.

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Author's Note: this piece has been updated for accuracy since its first publication on
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Author: Mark Marino
My name is Mark Marino, and I am the founder, owner, and operator of Lawn Phix. With a passion for lawn care and turf nutrition for over a decade, I've dedicated countless hours to correcting soil and perfecting lawns. Today, my expertise, backed by formal courses at UMass Extension Pesticide Education, allows me to offer top-tier lawn care services and advice. I am a fully licensed and insured lawn care applicator in Massachusetts, specializing in comprehensive turf nutrition, weed control, and lawn pest control. My license number is AL-0053865. Contact me at [email protected] or +1 (508) 500-8402.

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